The Labor Pains of Dancing Stars

•May 5, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Today’s gem from the ‘ol term-paper mill:

“This is really easy job! Only make 5minutes speech please anyone save me thanks!”

I’m not your paradise, girl.

Via Arts&LettersDaily.com

Creative Mindsby Roger Dobson from The Independent:

“According to new research, psychosis could be the answer. Creative minds in all kinds of areas, from science to poetry, and mathematics to humour, may have traits associated with psychosis. Such traits may allow the unusual and sometimes bizarre thought processes associated with mental illness to fuel creativity. The theory is based on the idea that there is no clear dividing line between the healthy and the mentally ill. Rather, there is a continuum, with some people having psychotic traits without having the debilitating symptoms.”

The article discusses the impact of so-called psychosis on some of the greatest innovators – Albert Einstein, Salvador Dali, Tony Hancock, and Brian Wilson.

I’m reading William Gass’ On Being Blue and he has an interesting take on the connection:

“The mad, as we choose to speak of others who do not share our tastes, provide cases galore of color displacement: they think pink is blue, that brown is blue, that sounds are blue that overshoes are condoms, and we have only to describe these crazies directly and they will smuggle the subject in all by themselves.”

“Freud thought that a psychosis was a waking dream, and that poets were daydreamers too, but I wonder if the reverse is not as often true, and that madness is a fiction lived in like a rented room.  The techniques, in any case, are similar” (P. 30).

Charles Bukowski constructed an infamous career out of being mad.  The first book of poetry I bought of his was Play the piano drunk like a percussion instrument until the fingers begin to bleed a bit.  It’s gotta be one of my favorite titles in literature – it’s almost a poem in and of itself.  He’s also of course the writer of another great title, Tales of Ordinary Madness.

Ayer I read an interesting debate over at Frigg Magazine.  They are a quarterly lit publisher of microfiction – a genre still being defined and maneuvered according to its practitioners – right now the the word count cannot exceed around 200 words, depending on whom you ask.

Here’s contributor Joseph Young’s take over atFrigg Magazine

“To be its own genre, microfiction needs to do something that other forms won’t. It needs to use language, description, dialogue, character to tell a story that can’t be told any other way. It’s not just compression, and it’s not just leaving things out, background info on characters or such. Microfiction needs to carve out whole worlds in a space small enough to fit the eye. You look, just once, and there the whole story is, on the page.

Microfiction is an experience of time closest to zero. Narrative necessarily moves through time; this is its nature, to express an event unfolding in time. But the world, the experience, of microfiction is so pared down that it occurs in the span of a single second, perhaps less, ideally much less.”

Does anybody have time anymore to read anything longer?  The rise of the Twitterati, Facebook Updating,  Smith Magazine’s hugely popular Six-Word Memoir, a publicized resurgence of the short story, and ADD on the rise, it looks like micro-fiction may be the next gambit.

I eyed through a few to get a feel and they read like a cross between prose poetry and the inside cover of a book.  It is quick hitting, heavy with allusion, and normally the last line is the punch.  They are more of a glimpse than a look, for better and worse.

According to the guidelines I could be considered a micro-fictionist, but I think I’ll stick with amateurish hack.

I was fortunate enough to reach Rumpus Editor and seven-time author Stephen Elliott through E-mail in regards to his offer of receiving an advanced copy of his next book, The Adderall Diaries: A memoir of moods, masochism, and murder due out this coming Fall.  He’s taking an interesting marketing tactic with this book by sending out advanced copies for people to borrow for a week and read before they forward it on to the next person.

I’m the last on the list for our particular copy so I’m hoping it will be marked up with people’s thoughts and ideas and coffee and wine stains.

I bought some sunglasses last week and I’m afraid they might have been made with women in mind.

See?  Microfiction, baby…except it’s not fiction.  So nevermind.

Hunter S. Thompson was a madman.  I’m reading his oral history compiled by Rolling Stone editor Jann Wenner.  And now, like Doc, I’m gonzo.


1,000 visits

•May 2, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Welp I cracked into quadruple digits today – I’m exactly at 1,000 page views.  In intertube blogosphere speak that amounts to about 1/100000000 plus a few zeroes of the blarket share!

Who wants a ride in my hoopty?

From Urban Dictionary.com:

Basically, a piece of shit car. Usually cheap and/or broken down. Can be any size, make or model, but must (or should) be embarrassing to drive for some reason, such as when you bump the stereo all the plastic “effects” you have hot-glued to the exterior rattle, instantly betraying the cheapness of your bling.

A hoopty can be anything from a ’78 Cadillac Brogham with the panels missing in front of the brake lights (but replaced on only one side with duct tape), to a fine purple two-year old Hyundai Elantra with three spinner hubcaps and a vanity plate that reads BBY GRL.

The term has also been used in certain circles as an insult to one’s boy or girlfriend, as in scrub or hoochie mama.

1. Can you believe he be gettin’ all mad whenever somebody lean up against his old stupid hoopty.

2. I can see now you ain’t nothin’ but a hoopty.

You make me wanna shoop.
Skat.  Skittle.  Ske-bobble.
Anyway, here’s to the next G.

Jackin Em Up

•April 30, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Heyo!

So I hadn’t played any basketball for about a week or so because it’s been so windy here back at the ranch.  You know why New Mexico is so windy?

Because Texas sucks and Arizona blows.

Some guy at the gas station offered that one up after seeing my Midwest representation on my driver’s license.  I thanked him for it and have since used it unabashedly.

Anyway, so yeah I went and balled yesterday after work and jesu-cristo I must be getting old.  My back was just killin me and I sorta turned my damn ankle.  Plus my stroke was off and it was windy as a mofo.

All in all a great idea – I think I’m gonna go play again today so I won’t be able to walk tomorrow.

At least I got a lil sun and got to show off my ginormous muskles to the passers-by on Camino Cristobal Colon.

I wag my finger at you Columbo – I’m reading Howard Zinn, I did Cultural Studies, I know, you’re not nearly as rad as those textbooks make you out to be.  In fact, you were quite the egomaniac and Indian killah.

Although I did enjoy learning how to make those hand-turkeys when we studied you near Thanksgiving time in elementary school.  But you ruined that too, didn’t you?  How many turkeys did you kill, Chris?  How many turkeys!!!  Ahhhh!!!!

I don’t get my kicks out of you.

Where’s the Rebel Yell when you need a swig?  Instead I’m just gobbling and strutting trying to not run into any fricken Pilgrims – Unless it’s Billy Pilgrim – then it might be OK.  Billy and I are buds.

I also found out that I write a lot like Sherman Alexie does in Flight.  I read that book in one sitting last night and gobbled it up.  He’s hilarious and poignant and self-mocking and insightful and a way better writer than I am at this point.  At first I was just a stitch de-moralized, but then I realized that I’m just a young turkey not ready to be bested (basted?) on a Wednesday night.

I definitely recommend the book.  It follows Michael the narrator and he loses time, similar to Billy Pilgrim), as he time travels masquerading as a mass murderer, a silenced Indian at The Indian’s Last Stand – a.k.a. – The Battle of Little Big Horn – a.k.a. – Custer’s Last Stand.  Michael also shoots up a bank after getting talked into doing it with a paint gun and a .38 Special by a kid named Justice.  Later Art makes him shoot an already dead man in the face…and so on…

The great thing is that it’s all pulled off with a wink and a smile from Alexie holding the strings.

Hoist.  Moist.  Boist.

Poise. Noise. Toys?

I watched Jeopardy the other night and one of the topics was ‘Oi!’

Oye…vega.

I totally want to Rosie Perez the shit out of Jeopardy like she does in White Men Can’t Jump.  “Damnit, Billy!  You lost my money again!”

Apparently Woody Harrelson punched the shit out of a paparazzi last week – he must be smokin’ that ditch weed and not that medicinal good goodness…

Here in New Mexico there are only 8 medical conditions for which you can receive a prescription for medical mary jane.  In California I think there are something like 22.  I don’t know which of the 22 a dear ally of mine got a prescription for, but I’m sure they are not doling out ditchweed.

Paparazzi go ahead and take a deep breath.

The Things That Hate Us & A Criminal Starkly

•April 29, 2009 • Leave a Comment

It has been a while since I’ve had time to update here, and I’m not feeling especially motivated today after having to rewrite a big paper yesterday and then re-write two versions of a shorter paper today over at the ol’ term paper mill.

Headache and a half for such a meager project.

Anyway, I’ve been editing and re-writing my short story this past week or so and I’ve also began another one that I can hopefully have completed by the middle of May.

Along with some poems and a few other shorter stories and I might actually have something physical in hand in just over 2 weeks.

I’ve been telling people that I’m going to send them versions – and I want to – but I only want to send it when I feel a viable first-last draft is done.  Right now I’m feeling it’s about 70% of the way through.

But damn I’m sick of staring at my computer screen typing up drivel for the academic masses even though I need the dough and it’s been a pretty productive week.

These next two weeks are going to be a mad dash with Spring semester winding down and a ton of final projects being put up at work.  Hopefully I can make some flow that I can save up for perhaps a trip up north or maybe out to Cali before Fiestas come to Santa Fe in the Fall.  Plus I’m also on the j-o-b hunt for the summer as the term paper mill will drastically slow down.

I watched this Frontline documentary on PBS last night after I re-wrote that hater of a paper.  It was about the mentally ill and the theory of de-institutionalization.  I penned a rather dark ditty for these desperate times.

4.28.2009 A Criminal Starkly

I am a homeless bastion of lost squalor scratching my arm wearing worn shoelaces that trip me up walking down this hallway. My last refuge of hope is blocked by the bars of my cell’s window. I lock the bird outside. It is blue but I cannot hear it whistle even though I imagine its beak is chirping. The bed is also my desk and I make it every morning before I even sit up. I’m thinking of a friend that I knew before this all happened – before I did this. My psychiatrist prescribed me something but I could not become institutionalized like the others looking for work. I have to try and then I open my eyes to the low, gray ceiling. I have the top bunk and my roommates name is Christopher. He doesn’t take any medication but he reads the Bible like it’s the itch on my arm. I tell him my name is Judas and this at least keeps him from reading the damned thing out loud. Somehow I am the crazy one. My arm is bleeding before breakfast and I’m serving a life sentence.

For:

Benny Anthony and Co.

released to the Frontline

Snowstorm in the City Different

•April 17, 2009 • Leave a Comment

So it’s Friday and we have blizzard like conditions in Santa Fe, it’s gorgeous and piling up around 3-4 inches – I wonder if they are going to open up the mountain??  The nice thing about snowstorms in New Mexico is that they normally occur around freezing temp.  The terrible thing is walking across downtown and getting splashed by the puddles in the street sprayed from passing traffic…repeatedly.

Wet socks = Disastro.

It was everybody’s favorite professor friend of mine’s birthday on Wednesday and I think the spirits must have been keeping watch because somehow Uncle Sam and I  didn’t run into any snags filing taxes.   I was able to log- in and -out within 45min. – including the 10 minutes spent trying to  navigate the IRS’s overloaded automated phone service (before giving up).  Otherwise it was smooth sailing and I found out today that both my state and federali returns had been accepted.

Bravo.

In somewhat related relief, the ‘ol term paper mill finally came thru with their payment verification issue.  This last week and a half have been a spendthrifty but productive span – a nice combination heading into the wind down of the Spring semester and leading into what I call the scholastic assassin’s crunch time as college partying vies for time against April/May’s projects and exams.

But for me it’s gonna be something like this:

At least, you know, pretty much like that.

I’m taking it this way: Before Michael Jordan was MJ he had all of these featured unbelievable clips but no ring.  Similarly, the hundreds of essays I’ve written over the years (months at the term-paper hitman sweatshop) have led me to my next vault.

Fiction is just a word for it, not its actuality.

Did I mention I hate wearing wet socks??

I’m also excited because I’m picking up a bilingual edition of Federico Garcia Lorca’s Selected Verse from the library.  Garcia Lorca is of course the  inspiration for the name of this blog and it’s been much too long since I last read him in Spanish.

The Preface reads, “The ‘essential’ Lorca is an elusive, and perhaps imaginary, figure, but this is the most complete anthology of his poems ever published in English.”  It draws from all of his published works and features some previously unpublished poems, including this one that I randomly opened and typed up for your Friday reading pleasure:

Arboles (1919)

!Arboles!

?Habeis sido flechas

caidas del azul?

?Que terribles guerreros os lanzaron?

?Han sido las estrellas?

Vuestras musicas vienen del alma de los pajaros,

de los ojos de Dios,

de la pasion perfecta.

!Arboles!

?Conoceran vuestras raices toscas

mi corazon en tierra?

Trees

Trees!

Were you once arrows

fallen from the blue?

What terrible warriors

cast you down? The Stars?

Your music springs from the soul of birds,

from the eyes of God,

from perfect passion.

Trees!

Will your tough roots know

my heart in the soil?

[English translation by Christopher Maurer]

I was going to grab a few other books for the weekend but I’m already at the limit of 15 for number of items checked out.

Here’s a sick time-lapse video via theWooster Street Collective

I got to watch Before Night Falls last night across town.  It’s a pretty incredible portrayal of poet Reinaldo Arenas’ life coming up through the Cuban Revolution.  Arenas is played by a fearless 2000 version Javier Bardem.  It was directed by Julian Schnabel and  I was surprised by the hilarious cameo roles of Sean Penn and Johnny Depp, what with their Cuban accents and especially Depp as a cross-dressing, prison queen manuscript mule.

Here is the somewhat underwhelming trailer for it:

I’ve only seen clips from Sean Penn’s Milk, but this has a similar undercurrent of pseudo-docubiopoliticalhistoriagraphica to it.

Speaking of pseudo-docubiopoliticalhistoriagraphica…

…a few people have asked about the next phase of NtAoOJ?.   I’m closing in on 10,000 words typed up in .doc format which gets me about 2/3 through, depending on how the rest of the re-write goes.

I’m at a dicey intersection where I can either stick close to the original or turn the tide and take it down some back streets and alleys, ditching the swords.  I’m leaning toward the original because I’m already nostalgic for the time I had to write it, but part of me wants a punchy, dark turn as we’re approaching the consummation.

Also, I just researched out of curiosity and noticed that consummate and execute are synonyms…  I see where the whole ‘I brought you into this world and I can take you out of it’ line originated.

I’m finding myself on a music rotation from my last year of college mixed in with some new mixes I’ve received from friends.  I think part of me feels as though I’m crafting a sort of MFA Creative Writing thesis, except I’m not another $40 G’s in debt doing it.  I also will obviously not be receiving a Master’s degree with it either, but I’ll be just as happy if I have my collection in final form by the end of May.

I just today came across an MFA Creative Writing blog:

http://creative-writing-mfa-handbook.blogspot.com/

And linked up thru them was a just-published ranking of the 100 Best Fiction and Poetry Programs in the U.S.

These are the top-5 in each:

Fiction:

1. University of Iowa

2. University of Michigan

3. Brown University

4. University of Virgina

5. University of Massachusetts at Amherst

(My alum, the University of Minnesota, comes in at a respectable 13th)

Poetry:

1. University of Iowa

2. University of Virginia

3. University of Michigan

4. University of Texas

5.  UMass at Amherst

The Dugganster’s Hawkeye’s are rollin’ deep in Iowa City…

This summer will open another door for me to continue my writing coup with the 400 year Anniversary of Santa Fe, NM as the oldest capitol city in the U.S.  Tourists will be swarming, historians leading tours, Zozobra burning, thousands of Frito Pies consumed, celebrations everywhere, events of all sorts in commemoration, and then there will be me trying to put it all together.

I’m thinking up some sort of photojournalism/travel writing angle but written by a not-quite writer (yours truly) and pitching some stories to the local and regional press outfits like The Santa Fe New Mexican, The Reporter, Outdoor Magazine, The ABQ Journal, NM Mag., ABQ IQ…etc.

Mmmm…Frito Pies.  Gotta go.

Strange Acquaintances with Not Quite Strangers – 3

•April 14, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Today’s post is brought to you by none other than Uncle Sam and all of his furry friends.  They are taking us on a ride through fine print and paperwork.  My joy is overflowing.

First of all, if anyone  is here again today after drudging your way through yesterday’s mistake addled clusterschmuck, I thank you and sincerely apologize for the sloppery.  Even tho this is just another free blog amongst the multitudes, it is my just another free blog amongst the multitudes.

Additionally, I’m one of those jackies that has a tendency to be annoyed with faulty grammar and vocabulary even as my own is blatantly unprofessional.  I guess if at some point I find a way to start making money through here I will have to work on that facet of the game.

There’s a prickly opinion piece over at The Chronicle Review (via Arts&LettersDaily – aldaily.com) about the importance of grammar in literature.  Think of the difference between Joyce and Gertrude Stein against the likes of an Updike or Joyce Carol Oates.  Anyway, if you’ve ever taken a composition class or even junior high school English you’re most likely familiar with that miniature elephant of a guide: The Strunk and White Elements of Style.  This article talks about how this book changed the way the English language has been enforced.  Here’s the link if your interested:

http://chronicle.com/free/v55/i32/32b01501.htm

The title is called 50 Years of Stupid Grammar and it’s by Geffrey Pullum, linguistics professor at University of Edinburgh.  Needless to say, he’s not a fan of the book.

I am currently transcribing the written version of Not the Autobiography of Olivia Jack (N.t.A.o.O.J.? if I were Dave Eggers) to .doc format from the pen and pad of its conception.  It’s definitely undergoing the scalpel and I suspect in a darker, yet more humorous direction.  At times when I’m annoyed with one of the characters, or even when I’m trying to describe the simplest of objects, like a painted finger nail or something banal like that, I will be in complete shock and horror at the brutal manner in which I originally described it as golden in paint, splattered with patience.

Times like these tempt me to start a completely new story and oh how I’ve tried.  Alas it’s inescapable.

For example yesterday the last line I wrote in my night session went like this, Twirling in and cutting out, wrapping itself in tangles, That Night played itself out in song.

Did I mention it here, or it might have been just in my head, that what makes a piece of art finished is that you knew it had to be stopped?  Well when you start writing lines that contain ‘played itself out in song‘ I’m pretty sure that means you need a break.

Ahh but there aren’t really any breaks when you’re working as a writer.  Every single thing has the potential to set you right back on track and also, of course, the ability to lead you right off of it.

You gotta be careful if you’re juggling swords.

Speaking of  swords… Guess who’s getting ready to do some taxes??

I’ve been doing my own taxes the past few years and don’t really mind it too much, but that’s most likely because my meager income doesn’t warrant that much complication.  However my first time was a definite struggle through a couple of painstaking back-to-back, time-and-number crunching April days trying to sort out residency in one state, the majority of my income from another state, my dual filing status between student and graduate, along with income from a third state.  Most sane people I know would’ve hit up H&R Block as soon as they got their W-2’s the next year.  Me?  Nah, apparently that’s not how I roll.

Those who file themselves will tell you that Sammy’s got a way of trapping you in the fine print.  Before you know it you’re cross-eyed and listening to the fan on your computer looking out the window.

Me to my tax filing site:

Hey again, I’m just here to do the damn thing.

Them:

Good luck.

Sammy:

It’s sandpaper, that fine print you were talking about…

In local news, the Sherlock in me detected a hint of subterfuge following a surge in traffic through this stunt-double of a website the past week or so…

I’m gonna check the next few days to see if these higher rates keep up now that I’ve blocked a previously accepted spam comment.  For awhile there after I had launched I thought just a random smattering of WordPress scrolls gallivanting thru the blogosphere that occasionally stumbled upon garcialoca.wordpress.com.   However, since Strange Acquaintances with Not-Quite Strangers – Part II (Tied) hit I started to think people were actually checking it out only to realize that was the day I accepted the comment.  Funny a spammer might be responsible for increased traffic – I’ll check it out.  Oh and a spike in traffic really means like a handful more.

Slow down, Tubby, you’re not on the moon yet!

Interestingly, I am getting the most hits from a Google Search of “strange acquaintances.”  I only find this partly surprising and I wonder what people think of my innocuous jaunt when they were probably imagining something entirely different – I suspect something much more sucio…

White ball moon:

Enter the vagueness ever changing – a going through the motions never set in place.  Morphing time, personality reigns and finally catches up to you, silently taking over while you step aside.

That Not Quite Stranger 3 may have slipped through the gap of my better judgment.  Akismet, the spam watchdog, even sent me a warning but that not-quite stranger mofo told me ‘I love the site – keep it up!’.  How can you resist that?

It was all stupidly playing out like some detective stint, Sherlock shamelessly inserted and all…

My dear Watson, do you not find it peculiar how a single post can dominate the majority of the attention?  I’m suspecting a simple act of deception will be at the root of this quite meaningless predicament.   Ponder this for a moment, the day the post in question rose to prominence – Strange Acquaintances with Not-Quite Strangers – Part II (Tied) – an unverifiable comment had been accepted by the author.  We heard Akismet even sent out a warning!  Pkosh!

Curveball.

Here’s a nice demo track from a band called Suckers, an appropriate moniker in light of my on-going investigation.  I initially came across these Suckers over at Pitchfork Media’s Best New Tracks page – the majority of the playlist is worth a gander:

http://pitchfork.com/forkcast/

I also rocked the song by the band Woods.  I think it’s called Rain On.

Today’s new joint is lit from the ambitious Wag Revue, a recently launched quarterly journal devoted to the vanguard of the artistic enterprise.

Via the Manifesto

“[The internet] is an unbridled and infinite purveyor of information – creation unbound – and it has the delicate subtlety of a tidal wave.”

http://www.wagsrevue.com/index.html

Wag Revue looks like a promising  literary venture  with experienced contributors spanning the field.  It features a really smooth web design that simulates the act of reading a la Kindle or iPhone or Crackberry Storm, or Amazon’s Get Inside this Book! feature.  The premier issue features an interview with Dave Eggers himself, along with original artistry and some editorial content.

Thanks to TheRumpus.net’s morning links for that.

Here’s a thought –

The old man reading in the corner of the library saw familiar people when strangers walked by.  They beckon his memory and translate him across geography and history.  Cities and capitals and festivals and celebrations can never compete with that time you walked in to the music and everything for that hallucinatory moment appeared to be on time.

He looked away and began to write.

Nobody had the gall to tell him that it wasn’t you that just walked by today.  I even saw you through the window to my left.  You looked younger than you do now and I imagined you still look like yourself running hair through your hands walking outdoors into the ultraviolet vanishing spring.

Here’s something else.  Almost otherly even.

[Insert non-sequitor]

But that Dave Eggers interview is nice because The Wag editorial board members had their own individual questions for him.  The whole interview via E-mail thing is something that piques my curiosity.  The physical separation between interviewee(s) and interviewer(s) creates the vibe of a series of correspondence whereas real-time interviews (in person, over phone, Skype, TV, radio, whatever…) thrive on the personalities present in that human exchange.  Another difference is the perceived intent on both sides.  The words on the screen leave up to the reader how to interpret a question when in real-time both verbal and non-verbal interaction illustrate the intent.

On the plus side, the interviewer is not pressured to come up with something on the spot.  This format allows more time for contemplation and precision regarding the responses given.

All I’m really saying is that the genre of the interview, like documentary film and memoirs, has the capacity to lead the audience into an illusion of reality and this can be political under certain conditions.  The import of the illusion depends on the power of persuasion (adapting Vargas Llosas terminology) of the author to create the desire to believe the authenticity of the exchange.  Eggers, for me, is another madman genius working for the greater good – an April shower (reiging?) in the obsidion desert.

It is a thoughtfully performed interview and The Wag and Mr. Eggers  show us how the  illusion of the writer as someone that works outside the bounds of society has been overturned in favor of the author/agent as cultural force.

Top 3 book titles in recent contemporary literature.  Go.  High Fidelity style.

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, Girl with Curious Hair, and The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (which I haven’t yet read).

So basically today’s music was like a cluttered indie plug…  I normally don’t even like those hipsterish snobs over at Pitchfork but I gotta admit this is a nice selection.  It seems like there is always another great band you’ve never heard of everyday online.  The Wag got it as close to right as one could hope for when they likened this phenomenon to the delicate subtlety of a tidal wave.

Lunes

•April 13, 2009 • Leave a Comment

We had a wild weekend here in Santa Fe with snow, sleet, rain, wind, sun, clouds and everything else mixed in.  Today?  Oh, it’s 65 and sunny and of course Monday.

I was over at The Rumpus.net this morning and Sugar,  ‘I’m not Dan Savage,’ sneaks up from behind and flicks the forehead of the Twitterati bringing us our quote of the day:

“As for the Q, it sounds like your partner is engaged in Twittersex.  It’s all the rage with the kids.  Anything worth doing these days should be done in 30 seconds or less.”

Yowza.

This one goes out to all of the unrecognized turtles:

So it was a pretty wacky Easter weekend.  Friday it was windy a cooling off with scattered clouds.  My pop turned 53 and we took him out to lunch at this place called Picolino’s (Picolino’s Picolino’s Picolino’s!!!) down on Agua Fria past Osage going South.  From the outside the place looks like a remodeled fast food joint and I think it might have been in the past – but their menu was like 9 pages, not counting the daily and weekly specials pages.  Hun was the only one not going for meat for Good Friday and it took a her a good 90 seconds to order with the waitress trying to explain to her, in Spanish, what carbonara was and if the espinacas had any meat…  I should have ordered a cerveza like my dad.  He ordered the grilled salmon, and I had the chicken marsala.  All of the plates were served with spaghetti and a veggie stir fry.

I got my dad this summer button down shirt.  Chances he’ll wear it?  3:2 he doesn’t.  I also made him some CD’s with music from his era – Clapton, Neil Young, The Rolling Stones, John Lee Hooker.  I was going to get him Los Lonely Boys, but he’s already got a new ruca so he’s not really that lonely…

Here’s one to spike your adrenaline:

Let’s see, Saturday I worked on editing and re-organizing Not The Autobiography of Olivia Jack (?) and wrote a three college papers for the wanderlust of academia.  I have a 4.7/5 rating there and am considered a Senior Writer after having worked for a few months.  It doesn’t really guarantee you more money, but students can pick me (anonymously) based on my track record.  At least I have the decision to reject an order request and this happens about 90% of the time.

We’re at kind of a lull in the academic season for another week or so.  Most of the orders we see now are the final projects that have been up since the beginning of Spring semester.  These stand out from the rest because they pay the least per page and require a ton of work.  It is rather common to see entire dissertation projects up for grabs.  I’m sure they figure that if they are guaranteed a passing mark it will be worth their time.  I imagine that the majority of these types of customers are trust fund twats or working professionals that just need the degree for a promotion.

Anyway, so in the next week or so we should start seeing an influx of mid-length research essays and discussion board post orders that can be TKO’d with minimal effort and maximum salary.  We get paid based on the amount of turnaround time, the length, the number of required sources, and on the academic level of the order.  During finals rush I thrive on those projects that aren’t necessarily the major assignment of the course, but the ones leading right up to it that factor in to the final grade.  Those 3-5 pagers with 3 sources at the undergrad clip can be processed in less than an hour.  Say the order has a 12 hour turnaround time I could reasonably expect $10-15 a page.  On top of that, if the customer rates your work high enough you get paid a bonus, it’s small, but still.  Like I said, I have 47 positive rankings and that number only reflects the 3 months since they implemented the system.

I am not intending to sound like I’m bragging because the scenario I just described is that uncut primo grade a shit.

Nope.  Most of the time you’re stuck writing a six page research paper that needs at least 2 sources per page with a complimentary title and reference page attached.  The turnaround time of a week decreases the rate.  Meanwhile this is just some University of Phoenix online course at the English composition pay scale asking you to describe the plot, character, tone, narrator, irony, and drama in order to compare and contrast the movie Romeo & Juliet with Shakespeare’s original play.  Sources must come from scholarly journals and try to limit the number of online sources you use.  Must be in APA format.  1″ Margins.  Times New Roman font, 12pt, double spaced.

Students please keep in mind that we adhere to the strictist codes of ethics as regards plagiarism.  All sources must be properly cited and where appropriate.  If any misconduct is suspected the project will receive a Zero and the student will report to the Office of Student Affairs, located at http://www.universityofphoenix.com/osa.

We prefer as little human interaction as possible.

Best,

Administration 974-2imc;[w87?/lml[3b.  Ref # 873515491937435476272

You will need your student identification number and password to log-in.

So that’s what has been copy/pasted into the order description page.  Here is my info for u 2 use when ur done:

Blah, Blah, Blah@uofphoenix.edu  pswd: FML

Six pages.  +-2.5 hours. Less than $50.

You can see the difference.

It’s a racket, I know that.  Shite, they have yet to pay me for the previous pay period.  When I asked some innocent sounding girl on the phone when they had called me (I was late with an order – the only time we speak) when I can expect to receive my payment, she told me that it should go through on the 13th.

Welp, today happens to be the 13th and I checked the site only to see that I have not been paid.  I knew spmething was off when she told me because normally pay periods fall on the 15-17 of the month.

The site says they have experienced an unforseen verfication request through the paying system or some shit.  I read the article in the Chronicle of Higher Education and I’m starting to wonder about the ‘ol term paper hitman prospects for the future.  Hello, once again, Craigslist and Classified ads.

I checked out Postmodern Theory and enjoyed the Table of Contents and the introduction, don’t know if I’ll have the courage or time to read the whole thing, I’ll probably just scan some parts.  It seems pretty well rounded tho, with Foucault, Derrida, Lyotard, Baudrillard, Jameson, Deleuze, Guattari, Nietzsche, Marx, Adorno and Horkheimer, etc… and beyond.  All the big shots in Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature.  I kind of miss my critical theory course from college debating the intricacies of left academic theory.  I always knew that I didn’t completely understand what these thinkers were gettinga at, now I think that might have been the point.

That should probably cover things for now.  I’ve come to the conclusion that my writing will take the form of a collection of short stories within the short story.  It will be included with a catalog of other fantastic stories to complete the publication.  It can be called Not the Autobiography of Olivia Jack? and Other Short Stories.  Or Not OJ and some others!

I’m shooting for 24 thousand something words which would come out to about 135 pages – including some 20-30 pages for illustration.  It will be a self-designed jacket cover, or by someone cooler if that’s the case, and will be sold at a website near you, Fall 2009, for an extremely reasonable price of free99.  I’m gonna have come up with the next outrageous PR coup and catch a virus to sell a single thing, but then again isn’t that what we were going for?

I will most likely publish the mofo right here and copyright that sucker as original content to garcialoca.wordpress.com.  I might actually just buy up the domain garcialoca.com, last I hear it was still available.

I recently read a great book on the modern art movement, The Painted Word by Tom Wolfe.  He writes from an insider’s perspective with lucid form and he’s quick with a quick witticism.  I read it in nearly two and a half hours once I sat down to read.  That is how my story aspires to be read – in one sitting whirlwind territory.  There might even be a whale scene, or at least dolphins.

I also read Balzac’s The Unknown Masterpiece – also a fast rendezvous with a madman, this time a cat named Frenhofer.  He’s a wily ol’ creature with imaginative ballast that consummates the artist’s livelihood.

Some people don’t believe in things like dreams because they don’t delineate between the lines.  I was always confused when professor’s would tell us to read between the lines because it seemed redundant.  On the other hand there is something to be said for the power of repetition in discipline.

Mario Vargas Llogas in his Letters to a Young Novelist believes that to be an artist is an act of rebellion against just such power.  That red-headed bandit Tom Robbins calls us outlaws.  We wish people would recognize them as riots, singular in expression born from a psychotic dance of spontaneity and joy.

Aha – The Joyful Rebellion by K-os

Metaphysical microscopic topic dropper.  Palabs.